Washington Business Report: Stopping funds to ISIS, Donald Trump on his kids, Charles Town Now and more
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Here's what you can see on this week's edition of Washington Business Report with ABC7 national correspondent Rebecca Cooper.
ISIS Will Grow Stronger if Funding Isn't Stifled: Advocate
A Middle Eastern organization aiming to spread the democratic culture in Lebanon and the Arab world, and encourage free press, says that more can be done to repress funding to terrorist organizations such as ISIS.
According to various reports, ISIS is funded by "charities or associations or informal groups in various Islamic countries in the [Persian] Gulf, but also in other Asian countries. At the same time, ISIS is a criminal organization, so hostage-taking is also one of their sources of funding," says Aymann Mhanna, executive director of the Samir Kassir Foundation.
He says ISIS is raiding banks during violent attacks and looting hundreds of millions of dollars, and that unless something is done by the international community to curb the access to cash, the terrorism threat will thrive.
The group - known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL, and recently changed its name to the Islamic State - has claimed responsibility for the beheading of freelance journalist James Foley. The group said the killing was in retaliation for U.S. air attacks on ISIS fighters, according to a statement from the group.
"There are very few countries in the Middle East that have bank secrecy. Actually, governments do have the ability to check these channels and check these movements of funds," Mhanna told Washington Business Report, urging the west to enforce stronger scrutiny over funding to terrorist organizations.
Trump proud of family work ethic
Donald Trump says he cannot explain why his kids are such hard workers, but says they are successful in their business ventures.
Trump sat down with Rebecca Cooper for a one-on-one interview when he and three of his children came to Washington, D.C. recently to break ground on their newest project: a 270-room luxury hotel in the soon-to-be-transformed Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue, to be named Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Trump says he repeatedly told his children when they were young that if they stayed away from drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, they would never be at a disadvantage. He acknowledges that his personal wealth meant his children never wanted for anything, but says their work ethic is impressive.
During the second part of the two-part interview, Trump says he is impressed with the collaboration he experienced in the nation's capital as he worked on deals that will revitalize the beloved landmark.
"One of the things I am very proud of: Democrats, Republicans -- everybody came together. We needed...almost 100 different approvals with landmarks -- with so many different groups of people. All D.C. people, all loving the building," Trump told Washington Business Report.
Trump says the renovation will be finished in mid-2016, and he was asked how he ranked Washington as a business town.
"I like D.C., I like the market. I think it has tremendous potential. I've gotten to really like a lot of the leaders that I have met. They're really terrific people. They have great pride in D.C. And yes, the taxes are high, but we have the best product and the best location."
Small Businesses in Small Town Make Big Splash
"While social media is a commonplace for large companies, how to effectively do it for a small town" -- and its varied small businesses -- is uncharted territory, says Van Applegate, who established the @CharlesTownNow Twitter handle that has both Twitter and small towns around the world watching.
Shortly after launching Charles Town Now, Applegate merged forces with "Discover Downtown Charles Town" (DDCT), a nonprofit comprised of small businesses owners, citizens, and current and former politicians. Soon, Charles Town Now became the social media extension of DDCT's existing traditional media outreach.
"We had to convince our small businesses that what's good for the town is good for business," Applegate told Washington Business Report, noting that once the small businesses got comfortable with harnessing the power of social media, there was profit to be made in dealing directly with potential customers.
"We focus more on one-on-on communication to link potential customers to business," he says.
The increased activity caught the attention of Twitter managers who contacted Applegate to find out more about his social media success in the small town of just more than 5,000 residents.
And as word continues to spread of the grass roots effort of the non-profit organization, small towns from around the world are trying to emulate what Charles Town has achieved. The social media buzz has created awareness about what Charles Town has to offer, and proves the community is embracing new technology.
"We're proud of the town. So promoting what you love is easy," says Applegate.